An Ultimate Guide to Create a Perfect Game Localization Kit
Preparation of a game localization kit is the initial step for any game l10n manager desiring a successful localization strategy.
As the gaming market is booming, localization plays a crucial part in helping game companies attract customers from all over the world. A localization kit that contains essential information about your game products and expectations will be a compass for localization partners to follow.
So, what should you include in your game translation kit to facilitate the localization process? Read on to find the answer.
Specify your target player in your game localization kit
Your localization team should get a clear picture of the audiences you are trying to reach, including their gender, personas, age range, socio-economic status, interests, etc. A good profile of your audience will help your localization partner choose the right approach to your content localization. If your game is intended for teenage boys rather than middle-aged moms, the vocabulary used will be different.
Don’t describe your target market as “Finnish visitors to our website.” The simple fact that you want to translate content into Finnish already indicates your aim to reach out to Finnish customers. You’ll need to have the target group profile created by the customer’s marketing team.
Include your preferred formatting options
In terms of formatting, what do you prefer? You should include things like punctuation style, capitalization preferences, preferred abbreviations, and any other preferences in your game localization kit.
Your localization vendors could not assume your preferences. If you do not mention your preferred formatting, the localization partner could use the one that does not suit your workflow.
Add your brand identity to your game localization kit
In terms of brand identity, you should answer the following questions:
- How do you define yourself?
- What makes you different?
- How do you want to present yourself and your game product to your audience?
The brand identity shapes the story that the company is telling its customers about its product/service. It is a recurring theme that will appear over and over again in all content. By having the brand identity definition, your localization team can recognize that recurring theme in the content that shapes the user experience.
For example, one company includes in their brand definition as “We are the modern gladiators”. How does that translate into content strategy? What recurring features in their texts are referring back to their brand’s definition? How can they be found in the source text?
Describe the tone in your game localization kit
After defining its identity, a brand will move on to creating its voice. Is your game designed to be sarcastic and funny? Or is it more gritty and dark? Conversational or formal, which one will you prefer?
The tone you select will have a significant impact on localization. Depending on the tone you pick, there are countless ways to locate a given string.
Add character introductions in your game localization kit
Who are these characters that your localization team is going to meet in this project? Don’t only talk about what players will learn about characters during the game; dig further into each character’s backstory.
Your gamers may not need to know about all of this, but your translation and localization team do, since they must capture the spirit of your characters in every language. They must thoroughly grasp these characters and how they function for an effective localization job.
Deliver details about your game world
To provide you with a translation that truly reflects your game, your localization team must get totally involved in your world.
You may have some specifics about your game world in the back of your head, but keep in mind that a localization team is not around throughout the entire development process. By providing them with more information about your game world, you can elevate your localization from “good” to “great.”
Have context hints in your game localization kit
Don’t forget to include the context in your game localization kit, as the more information your localization partners have, the better the localization will be.
Here’s an example of how context can make a big impact in localizing to other languages, even though it may not play a huge part in localizing to English:
Unlike English, nouns and adjectives are gendered in French and many other languages. This implies that understanding your characters’ gender is critical for accurate localization in these languages.
“You are an excellent driver,” for example, would be translated differently in French depending on whether the driver was male or female:
- Male: “Tu es un excellent conducteur”
- Female: “Tu es une excellente conductrice”
This may seem like a very minor point, but it will sound really odd to a French player and therefore can reduce their enjoyment of the game.
Here’s how you can give extra context information to your localization team:
#1. String order and name
Try to structure your strings in a logical way that provides as much context as possible. It’s great if your text is organized chronologically, but if that is not the case, organize it by stage, mission, or even character – just don’t arrange it alphabetically. String IDs can additionally include suggestions that will aid the localization team in determining when and how this string is utilized.
#2. Context notes
Don’t be concerned about going overboard and bombarding your localization team with comments. A localization file with too many comments is preferable to one with too few.
Adding images of characters and props might also help with context.
#3. List all your tags
To translate correctly, your localization team has to understand the meaning and function of all your tags.
For example, instead of the tag, what string will appear? Is it possible to use the plural? Or can it be moved in the sentence?
Prepare editable text files in your game localization kit
Since your localization team is unlikely to use the same software to edit the text as you, they need to be able to simply edit your strings using their translation tools. This means that strings that need to be translated should never be hardcoded. Keep in mind that translators are not developers. They have their own set of tools that allow them to give you consistent quality localization.
Limiting a translation team working only within your development software might result in less effective work with more discrepancies. That is something that no one desires.
You should keep text in spreadsheets (.csv, .xml, .xlsx). Although PO files are fine, they aren’t the most useful format for most localization teams.
Include Q&A in your game localization kit
Make a list of all the likely questions concerning your game and prepare answers ahead of time. For example, should the title be localized? Is it necessary to transliterate character/location names?
Every question and answer you provide in this file will save you time that you would otherwise spend going back and forth with your translators to clarify a concept.
You Can Rely on GTE Localize
Localization is the most effective approach for game developers to reach new audiences and expand globally. By developing a thorough game localization kit, you’re orienting your localization team to be right on track.
For a successful localization, you should partner with a game localization services company due to the complexity involved. Among the companies providing game translation services today, GTE Localize is a reliable companion for you. Some of our competitive advantages are:
- GTE Localize has native translators all around the world with at least five years of expertise. With extensive gaming experience, we deliver comprehensive translation, localization, and multimedia services for the games industry.
- We offer a variety of game localization solutions, including game translation and localization, as well as game content, description reviews and marketing materials, and subtitles.
- We ensure accurate and consistent translations with a one-year warranty for all of our projects.
- We offer translation and localization services at competitive prices and quick turnaround times using localization and translation management platforms, quality control tools, and CAT tools.
You can see more about our Game Translation Services here.
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